It’s been a long time since I last wrote and quite a bit has happened since then.

Picking up from October, I had been interviewing at a startup in Mountain View for a Full Stack Engineering position which I got through an online coding challenge. The interview process was interesting. I had to come in for a few days and build a Django app using their API. I received some good feedback but ultimately ended up not getting an offer. I had considered staying in the Bay area since I thought it might be easier to get a tech job there, but decided to just pack up and move to LA since my wife had just started dental school in that area.

I spent pretty much the next two months looking for a job. I did work on one more project to get some experience with full stack Javascript (React, Express, Mongo), but from the conversations I had with people, I felt that they thought I was job-ready. Almost everyday, I spent all my time researching companies and reaching out to people.

It was really demoralizing and a tough couple of months. I figured not having a CS background nor any professional experience would make online applications exceptionally useless so I focused all my efforts on going to events and reaching out to anyone I possibly could. Bootcamp graduates were particularly helpful and I’m awfully thankful. A lot of them had also transitioned into the industry from non-traditional backgrounds and were often willing to chat.

Towards the beginning of December, I finally started picking up traction with a few companies and had a few phone interviews. The job I did end up getting was through a UF alumni. I had done research on the company and thought the bar might be too high for their software engineer role. I was a little lonely and didn’t know many people so figured I’d reach out anyway. We met up and had lunch. He recommended looking into the company’s Data Engineer position which I did.

I started working at Factual in January and have been really happy since then. I’ve learned about distributed computing, Hadoop Map Reduce, and Spark. I’ve started doing work around Machine Learning and managing geographical data with PostGIS. I feel like I’m learning a lot and best of all, the culture and people here are really awesome :).